Thursday, November 20, 2008


Welcome to Movember! That's the month in which Australian men (and maybe a few women) grow moustaches to support men's health. It is now week three so I thought an update was worthy of publication. That's one of Jenny Orchard's pieces next to me.

Movember seeks to raise awareness of prostate cancer and depression screenin for men. I formed a team called MoHubby to get other Hire-A- Hubbies involved. You can sponsor me if you like at

The website is fun to look at and I'm getting lots of comments. Granted, some of them are along the lines of "Are you doing Movember? So it my husband. His looks awful. I can't wait till it is over." The best part is the fellowship among men. Sometimes, we just nod in that knowing sort of way. It is raising awareness. And growing face hair is such a blokey thing to do.

One of the great things about living near the center of Sydney is it's proximity to all kinds of cool going's on. On Wednesday, I heard about the Spelling Bee finals that were being held at the offices of the ABC, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. I caught an early bus and got down there to discover that among nine finalists, the first eight misspelled their word and last contestant scored an upset win. But the competition ended about an hour early. Bummer for the guys upstairs who planned to air the final contest on the radio. Faced with time and no spellers, I wandered around and found a display case of old radio gear. Above is a "tiny" tape recorder that was created by the CIA and used by spies when they "wore a wire."

These are the famous Australian Kookaburras. They're related to kingfishers and I caught these two watching from under a big Jacaranda tree as grubs stirred below the mulch. These birds were swooping down and with their long beaks, stabbing a dinner from the bark bits below. They have a great call which sounds a lot like laughing. Remind me next time you see me, I'll do it for you

Back in Alaska, in a place called North Pole, there's a store called Santa Claus House. It's chock full of Christmas Crap. But here, CHRISTMAS WAREHOUSE they've gone all Walmart on the concept. Inside are the usual overwrought light displays and preflocked plastic Christmas 'trees.' Best part of this place is that you can become a VIP member and get 10 percent year. They keep prices low by renting temporary space for a few months a year. They have a direct link to the Chinese factories near Hangzhou that make this stuff. My favorite part is Yogi Santa out front, doing Jalandhara Bandha. See? It works, tuck in the chin and there's no pressure to the head!
The other day I sent my neice Kayla a box of "lollies" with very Australian names. Among them were Chupa Chups, which you might know as a dumdum. But these are quite nice and the new updated plastic sticks don't rot in your mouth. The were apparently a hit. Last weekend, I was walking down the mall in Bondi Junction and came across this gal, flogging Chupa Chups. "Salvador Dali designed the logo," she told me. It's their 50th birthday. She's standing next to a photo showing how one can use Chupa Chups and pipecleaners as stick figures in all sorts of fun action poses. Now that we're between elections, why not give this form of entertainment a try?

This house is just down the street from mine. Not much of a house really, but I can tell the occupants are okay.


  1. funny, i've been growing a mustache for the last 3 weeks, and i wasn't exactly sure why...
    until i stumbled upon this article. it's going pretty well, and feeling quite macho. would send a pic if only i had a camera:(
    sending you much love, bro.

  2. Hi John,

    Thanks for the link to your new blog. It is fun to "hear" from you again, and the blog looks great.